Understand your skin and get your best complexion ever! By Dawn Chen
Photo: My Make OU / www.123rf.com
Growing up, I had what I believed to be an oily complexion, and I simply accepted that I would never be that girl with good skin. I saw skincare as a necessity just to clean my face, but never thought about investing in it because I didn’t think my skin could improve.
Then the K-wave hit Singapore, and I found myself drawn to the beautiful Korean actresses for their flawless complexions. How did they do it? Could I possibly have skin that perfect too? I noticed that they looked amazing even without much makeup, and it inspired me to relook my own beauty regime. I began researching more about skincare, and fell down the Korean beauty rabbit hole and never looked back. After many months of trial and error, my skin is now the healthiest and clearest it’s ever been. Here are the best tips I’ve picked up along the way, and how they’ve worked for me.
Know and understand your skin
As a teen, I battled the usual onset of puberty pimples and oily skin. I also suffered from a major onset of blackheads that warranted the not-so-cute description of “strawberry nose”. This made me believe that my skin was greasy, and any product with salicylic acid became my best friend. Even though my skin felt tight and itchy from these anti-acne ranges, I continued using them religiously, believing they would help my ‘oily’ complexion.
Eventually, the skin on my cheeks and on my nose started peeling and I panicked. I spammed my face with hydrating moisturisers, and felt relief for the first time in months. It turns out that the strong, oil-stripping products I originally used were too harsh for my combination skin. Instead of helping, they dehydrated my skin further and caused it to go into overdrive by overcompensating with an increased sebum production. After switching to gentle, hydrating products, my skin is so much happier – and less oily.
The bottom line: Getting a little greasy around the T-zone by midday doesn’t automatically put you in the acne-prone category. Understand your skin and find out what works for it before misdiagnosing your skin type! You can head to a registered facialist or dermatologist if you’re not sure.
Hydration is key
After spending so many years stripping my skin of moisture, I am now slightly obsessed with hydrating it the best way I can. During a previous facial session, my therapist shared with me how many girls go to her thinking that they have oily complexions, only to find out that they are suffering from dehydrated skin instead. Oftentimes, that is the basis for a host of other skincare concerns like dullness and fine lines. Nowadays, I keep a skin mist on my table to spritz throughout the day. This helps to ensure my skin doesn’t dry out when I’m sitting in an air-conditioned environment all day. Oh, just be sure to tissue off the excess after misting. Not doing so means that your visage can become even drier when moisture from your skin evaporates off with the droplets of mist.
Double cleansing makes all the difference
Previously, I didn’t think it was necessary to remove my makeup or sunscreen with a makeup remover. After all, my cleanser claimed it was able to do so! Turns out, my extra gentle face wash wasn’t able to totally rid my skin of stubborn, residual sunscreen or dirt. When it comes to water-resistant formulas, you usually need an oil-based remover to thoroughly break down the components that bind the product to your skin. If you don’t, you’ll find that swiping your face with a toner-soaked cotton pad after usually leaves the pad brown. Yuck.